In leaked audio, Trump tells the Secretary of State to “find” votes. “I just want to find 11,780 votes”, Trump says to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. The leaked phone call first reported by the Washington Post sent shockwaves through political circles. Astonished at Trump’s level of desperation, many have equated this latest act worse than the Nixon tapes. In the one-hour phone call, Trump spewed more lies about voter and election fraud. Even more troubling is while claiming to be a victim of election fraud, he is on tape attempting to bully and coerce, Raffensperger to commit election fraud. Secretary of State Raffensperger repeated to Trump that his data and theories were wrong.
Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, is a Republican and Trump supporter. While overseeing three recounts of Georgia’s election results, he has repeatedly rejected Trump’s voter fraud claims. Since the release of the audio phone call, Republicans remain mostly silent. Democrats call the audio despicable and criminal—some calling for his removal from office immediately.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called the leaked audio “a bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the president.”
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois: “This disgraceful effort to intimidate an elected official into deliberately changing & misrepresenting the legally confirmed vote totals in his state strikes at the heart of our democracy and merits nothing less than a criminal investigation.”
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York: “I absolutely think it’s an impeachable offense, and if it were up to me, there would be articles on the floor, quite quickly.”
The two democratic candidates for Georgia’s Senate also responded.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff: “That is a direct attack on our democracy, and if David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler had one piece of steel in their spine, one shred of integrity, they would be out here defending Georgia voters from that kind of assault.”
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Raphael Warnock: “Georgia elected @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarrris. That’s a fact. @KLoeffler has a responsibility to speak out against these unsubstantiated claims of fraud, defend Georgia’s elections, and to put Georgia ahead of herself. But she hasn’t. And she never will.”
This comes the day before the Georgia Senate runoff election. The White House has not responded to requests for comment.
Interim Contributing Editor Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.